Dharma Discovery: The Ultimate Dalai Lama Quiz

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Dalai Lama Quizzes & Trivia

Embark on a journey of spiritual enlightenment with "Dharma Discovery: The Ultimate Dalai Lama Quiz." Immerse yourself in the profound teachings and life of the Dalai Lama, exploring his impact on Tibetan Buddhism and the world. This quiz invites you to unravel the intricacies of compassion, mindfulness, and wisdom, central to the Dalai Lama's philosophy. From his early life to his role as a global advocate for peace, delve into the essence of this revered spiritual leader. Test your knowledge and gain insights into the Dalai Lama's enduring legacy as a beacon of compassion and harmony.


Questions and Answers
  • 1. 

    In this week’s magazine, Evan Osnos writes about the Dalai Lama, who just celebrated his seventy-fifth birthday. What does the Dalai Lama refer to as “a change of clothing”?

    • A.

      Birth

    • B.

      Aging

    • C.

      Exile

    • D.

      Death

    Correct Answer
    D. Death
    Explanation
    The Dalai Lama refers to death as "a change of clothing." This metaphor suggests that death is not the end, but rather a transition to a new state or existence. It implies that death is a natural part of life and should be embraced rather than feared. The Dalai Lama's perspective on death reflects his Buddhist beliefs, which emphasize the impermanence of life and the importance of acceptance and detachment.

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  • 2. 

    How did the late New York Times editor Abe Rosenthal, who was friends with the Dalai Lama, describe his appearance?

    • A.

      “Understated but refined.”

    • B.

      “Solid yet airy.”

    • C.

      “Like a middle linebacker.”

    • D.

      “Like a smile personified.”

    Correct Answer
    C. “Like a middle linebacker.”
  • 3. 

    Which ruler has been in power for longer than the Dalai Lama?

    • A.

      Fidel Castro

    • B.

      Queen Elizabeth

    • C.

      Bhumibol Adulyadej, the King of Thailand

    • D.

      None of the above

    Correct Answer
    D. None of the above
    Explanation
    Tenzin Gyatso was enthroned as the Dalai Lama in 1940, at the age of five. (Castro took power in 1959, Elizabeth II in 1952, and Adulyadej in 1946.)

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  • 4. 

    How many books list the Dalai Lama as an author?

    • A.

      One

    • B.

      Five

    • C.

      Thirty-four

    • D.

      At least a hundred

    Correct Answer
    D. At least a hundred
    Explanation
    The correct answer is "At least a hundred". This suggests that there are more than a hundred books that list the Dalai Lama as an author. It implies that the Dalai Lama has written numerous books throughout his life, making him a prolific author.

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  • 5. 

    What does “Dalai Lama” translate as, literally?

    • A.

      Patient Ruler

    • B.

      Ocean Teacher

    • C.

      Soaring Spirit

    • D.

      Father Son

    Correct Answer
    B. Ocean Teacher
    Explanation
    The term "Dalai Lama" translates literally to "Ocean Teacher." This title is given to the spiritual leader of Tibetan Buddhism, who is believed to be the reincarnation of the previous Dalai Lama. The term "ocean" represents the vastness of wisdom and knowledge that the Dalai Lama possesses and shares with others. The term "teacher" signifies the role of the Dalai Lama in guiding and enlightening his followers.

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  • 6. 

    Who chairs the board of the International Campaign for Tibet?

    • A.

      Kerry Kennedy

    • B.

      Elie Wiesel

    • C.

      Richard Gere

    • D.

      Harrison Ford

    Correct Answer
    C. Richard Gere
    Explanation
    All of the others are on the council of advisors, in addition to Vaclav Havel and Desmond Tutu.

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  • 7. 

    What did the Dalai Lama tell Oprah was a “stupid question”?

    • A.

      Whether he has trouble with his celibacy vow

    • B.

      Whether the whole world should meditate

    • C.

      Whether he gets bored of his yellow-and-maroon ensemble

    • D.

      Whether he has read “Zen and the Art of Motorcycle Maintenance”

    Correct Answer
    B. Whether the whole world should meditate
    Explanation
    The Dalai Lama told Oprah that the question of whether the whole world should meditate is a "stupid question."

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  • 8. 

    The Dalai Lama’s elder brother lived for more than forty years in the town that was home to Bobby Knight and Alfred Kinsey. Where is that?

    • A.

      Lubbock, Texas

    • B.

      Bloomington, Indiana

    • C.

      Lawrence, Kansas

    • D.

      Durham, North Carolina

    Correct Answer
    B. Bloomington, Indiana
    Explanation
    The correct answer is Bloomington, Indiana. The clue in the question refers to Bobby Knight and Alfred Kinsey, both of whom have ties to Bloomington, Indiana. Bobby Knight was the head coach of the Indiana University basketball team, which is located in Bloomington. Alfred Kinsey was a renowned sexologist and professor at Indiana University, also located in Bloomington. Therefore, the correct answer is Bloomington, Indiana.

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  • 9. 

    According to Osnos’s piece, what most concerned the young Dalai Lama about presiding over long, elaborate ceremonies?

    • A.

      Falling asleep

    • B.

      Boredom

    • C.

      Forgetting his lines

    • D.

      Bladder control

    Correct Answer
    D. Bladder control
    Explanation
    The young Dalai Lama was most concerned about bladder control when presiding over long, elaborate ceremonies, as mentioned in Osnos's piece. This implies that he was worried about not being able to control his bladder during these ceremonies, which could potentially disrupt the proceedings.

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  • 10. 

    Which entertainer is NOT Buddhist?

    • A.

      Leonard Cohen

    • B.

      Oliver Stone

    • C.

      Catherine Keener

    • D.

      Goldie Hawn

    Correct Answer
    C. Catherine Keener
    Explanation
    Catherine Keener is not known to be a Buddhist. The question asks for the entertainer who is NOT Buddhist, and out of the given options, Catherine Keener is the only one who is not associated with Buddhism.

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  • 11. 

    Which comic-book character DOES NOT have Buddhism in his past?

    • A.

      Wolverine

    • B.

      Batman

    • C.

      Green Lantern

    • D.

      Green Arrow

    Correct Answer
    C. Green Lantern
    Explanation
    Green Lantern does not have Buddhism in his past. Buddhism is a religion and philosophy that originated in ancient India, and it is not mentioned or associated with the character of Green Lantern in any significant way. Wolverine, Batman, and Green Arrow, on the other hand, have had storylines or references that touch upon Buddhism or Eastern philosophy in their respective comic book histories.

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  • 12. 

    In “Seven Years in Tibet,” who plays the Dalai Lama’s mother?

    • A.

      Diki Tsering, his actual mother

    • B.

      Jetsun Pema, his actual sister

    • C.

      France Nuyen, who played Liat in the 1958 film “South Pacific”

    • D.

      Li Na, one of Mao Zedong’s daughters

    Correct Answer
    B. Jetsun Pema, his actual sister
  • 13. 

    Neither “Seven Years in Tibet” nor Martin Scorsese’s “Kundun” was actually filmed in Tibet. Where did Scorsese film instead?

    • A.

      Argentina

    • B.

      Morocco

    • C.

      Hawaii

    • D.

      Thailand

    Correct Answer
    B. Morocco
    Explanation
    “Seven Years in Tibet” was filmed in Argentina.

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  • 14. 

    In 1956, a man named T. Lobsang Rampa wrote a popular memoir called “The Third Eye” about his life as a Tibetan monk, including a story about having a hole drilled into his forehead that allowed him to see auras. Two years later, a private investigator determined that the book’s author was actually whom?

    • A.

      Herb Stempel, the coached contestant turned whistle-blower from the quiz show “Twenty-One”

    • B.

      Anthony Cox, the second husband of Yoko Ono

    • C.

      Sam Cummings, a C.I.A. operative in the early fifties

    • D.

      Cyril H. Hoskin, the unemployed son of a British plumber

    Correct Answer
    D. Cyril H. Hoskin, the unemployed son of a British plumber
    Explanation
    The correct answer is Cyril H. Hoskin, the unemployed son of a British plumber. This explanation is supported by the fact that a private investigator discovered that T. Lobsang Rampa, the supposed author of "The Third Eye," was actually Cyril H. Hoskin. This suggests that Hoskin fabricated the story about being a Tibetan monk and having a hole drilled into his forehead to see auras.

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  • 15. 

    What prompted Paul McCartney to write a letter to the Dalai Lama?

    • A.

      The Dalai Lama’s appearance in an Apple advertisement

    • B.

      The Dalai Lama’s performance with John Mellencamp

    • C.

      McCartney’s conversion to Buddhism

    • D.

      McCartney’s concern about the Dalai Lama eating meat

    Correct Answer
    D. McCartney’s concern about the Dalai Lama eating meat
    Explanation
    McCartney is not a Buddhist, just an avid vegetarian. Read Evan Osnos on the Dalai Lama onstage with Mellencamp.

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  • Current Version
  • Nov 22, 2023
    Quiz Edited by
    ProProfs Editorial Team
  • Sep 29, 2010
    Quiz Created by
    Tnywebedit
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